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Preachers for Profit


Millions of folk around the world satisfy their need for spiritual enlightenment by tuning in to their favorite television preacher.  Although there are a few men of God who fervently seek to proclaim the undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ over the airways, more than likely, one will have their ears tickled by a self serving entertainer with a watered down social gospel of “I feel good and you should too! ” In reading a recent posting by Darrell Creswell, (http://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)  I was astonished at the amount of wealth that some of these purveyors of spirituality have accumulated over the years from their unsuspecting viewers.  Perhaps the most disturbing fact for me is that many, many many of these blinded followers are Senior Saints who are oblivious to the underlying purpose of these  so-called Gospel ministries.  A couple of dollars from the millions of geriatric viewers soon mounts up to some might fancy steaks on the dinner plate.  All the while these pension-pinchin Senior Saints are indulging in soup, cereal and sandwiches.  Well, the old proverb that a picture sends a thousand words is most certainly true; so lets take a look at the lifestyle of some of the more prominent ‘Gospel” entertainers.copeland-hinn-home (1)joyce-meyer-jesse-duplantis

Now let us take a look at where Jesus laid down his hear to rest:   Quite a contrast to the multi-million dollar homes of these charlatans of the social gospel

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And if this does not mess with your mind then lets take a look at the method of transportation

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Jesus:OS18033

It is needful that Christians adhere to the scriptural principle of providing for their Pastor, giving him a double portion even.   So many Godly men depend upon the Lord to provide and rightly so, however, God uses his people through tithes and offerings to support the man who has given his life to preaching the Gospel.  Scripture  admonishes us not to store up for ourselves treasures on earth, but to instead store up for ourselves treasures in heaven.  The preaching of the Gospel to fill ones own pockets is a sin; an abomination and a disgrace to everything that Jesus died for on Calvary.  Ministers of the Word should not be greedy of money nor use the gospel shamelessly to make money

These viscous wolves in the sheep’s clothing of a fundamental gospel preacher are twisting scripture so as to seduce people into supporting their ‘ministries’;  into following them and not Jesus. Their charismatic presentation seduces unsuspecting viewers to open their thin wallets and send a ‘dollar or two’ to ‘further the “gospel”.    O foolish generation, how carelessly are we taken away into captivity by these entrepeneurs of wealth through the exploiting of the Truth.

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Dad Called


father-son-hugIt was as a teenager that I first learned about the need to be saved and have my sins forgiven at a youth meeting of a local church.  I had been invited by a friend and since I had no other plans it seemed like a good idea.   My family did not go to church, but they were good moral people.  Mom was pleased that I was hanging out with a good group of friends and Dad’s only concern was that I did not neglect my chores.  Neither of them were interested in hearing much about the Gospel, although Mom did seem listen with ears of conviction.  My Senior year was full of excitement and anticipation of the future.  Mom talked about college and Dad moaned that he would lose his farm hand.  There was several years between me and my youngest brother and my sisters were not able to help with the physical work.  It was decided that I would attend a local college so that I could continue to help my Dad on the farm.  I was kind of glad in a way, because my Mom was the best cook in the county.  She won many ribbons at the local fair for her baked goods.  Then came the unexpected.   I really enjoyed history and had planned on making that my major and getting a minor in teaching.  That was all going to change.

One evening after church my Pastor came to me.  We had been having evangelistic meetings  and he wanted to personally introduce me to one of the speakers.  He was an older man who served the Lord in Australia.  He and his family wanted to have a teen camp that summer and he wanted to know if I would come and help.  Emotions ran rapid in my mind……got to think….Dad needed my help on the farm.  Fortunatley the camp was to be held after planting season and before harvest.  It would be like a mini vacation.  Having worked with the young people in my church had given me the experience needed for such an endeavor……….hmmm.  the money!  ……………..the money!  The three of us chatted for a while longer and as we parted, the Missionary asked me to just pray about the request and if it was God’s will, He would provide the necessary finances.  It was God’s will, He did provide the money, and I went.

Family dinners on the farm were awesome and this time it was no different.  My parents seemed older, and my siblings were growing up before my eyes, but the laughter and conversation during the meal were a delight.  My Dad was an observant man, he could tell if ole Bessy was ill before symptoms appeared.  I was not ignorant of his questioning glances toward me and it made me uneasy.  There was something that I needed to tell the family and I was waiting for the right opportunity.  “Son, is there something on your mind?”    How did he know?

As I shared with my family that the Lord had called me to the mission field there was a  breathless quietness that filled the old country dining room.  All eyes were on Dad.  No one said a word.

Many years have passed since that evening.  The opportunities for me to return to the States were few and far between. The Lord blessed and a lady at the church had befriended Mom and was able to lead her to the Lord.  Fortunatley I was able to come home for the funeral, but Dad hardly spoke a word.  We were faithful in writing but he never answered.  There were times when Satan really tried to discourage me, to make me feel guilty about not being home with my Dad in his old age.  It was an ever ending battle and I persistently and fervently prayed for my Dad’s salvation.

Then one day Dad called:  “Son, aren’t you ever going to come home?”  Those words rent a fiery wound to my heart.  I was literally crushed.   We serve such a wonderful and all knowing God and He was acutely aware that the phone call was coming.   That very same day we received a letter from the Mission Board that they wanted us to come and disciple some folk who were wanting to go to the Mission Field.  It was a relatively new program and we were their first seasoned missionaries to participate  We would be in the States about a month and inclosed in the envelope were two airline tickets.

The reunion with Dad was somewhat tense at the beginning.  My younger brother and his wife had moved in with him and were managing the farm.  The dinner table was set with all the favorite foods that Mom always prepared.  Dad looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “Son, it is good to have you home,  Will you ask God to bless the food? ”  Two days later while we were working on the old John Deere tractor, I was able to lead my Dad to the Lord.

My wife and I were so thankful to be home.  It was the  harvest season and God had reaped the soul of my Dad.  After I shared this with the budding missionaries a week later, I was handed a note. by the Director………. Call home!

It was the most difficult funeral that I had ever presided over, yet it was also a time of rejoicing.  Three souls were saved that day as I shared my Dad’s salvation story with them.  Two of them were my siblings.

Nicodemus – Searching for Answers


Nicodemus190x239My mental picture of Nicodemus depicted this leader of the Jewish people as a relatively short man with a muscular build.  He seemed to me to be a man up in years,  educated with a caring countenance.  The photo at the right could be more in tune to his true physical appearance, but irregardless, it is his spiritual nature on which we must focus.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 3, we are introduced to Nicodemus.  John tells us that he was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, the high court in Israel.  In addition to being learned in the Old Testament Scripture, Nicodemus  possessed a wise inquiring mind and was not satisfied with the legalism of the Pharisees.  He could not rest until he found the truth which he badly wanted to understand.  Although he seem to be a courageous man, Nicodemus personally sought out Jesus during the night.  Perhaps he discerned that he would have a greater opportunity in talking with Jesus alone while others slept or as some scholars believe, he was fearful of being seen by the Jewish brethren.

The Lord welcomed Nicodemus and understood that he came to him not as a ruler to discuss the affairs of State, but as a man concerned about his soul.  Jesus immediately began to share with him the necessity of being born again.  Even though he misunderstood what Jesus was teaching, Nicodemus acknowledged his ignorance, which showed the Lord his desire to be better informed.  Needless to say, our New Testament friend was somewhat perplexed.  How could a man be born again when he was old?  The Lord went on to explain the two births, the physical and the spiritual, emphasizing once again that man needed to be born again in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven.  How can these things be, asked the inquisitive Nicodemus?

In His wisdom, Jesus referred Nicodemus to the Old Testament account of the Serpent in the Wilderness, whereby giving him insight into the scriptures of which Nicodemus was much aware.   In comparing himself to the serpent in the wilderness, Christ was able to help this seeker of the truth to understand that only by looking unto Jesus, could a man be saved from the sting of spiritual death; separation from God, for eternity.  Jesus went on to comment that as man believeth on the saving power of the serpent to save him from physical death, man must now look unto Christ to be saved from Spiritual death.

The third chapter of the Book of John reveals these truths to man today.  Mans inability to understand what Jesus is saying is indicative of a fallen, sinful heart and has nothing to do with ones level of intelligence.    Even as Nicodemus knew the Scriptures quite well, we must realize as he did that knowing the Bible is not enough; one must believe in the Living Word. the Lord Jesus Christ.  John 1:1.

Although the scripture does not specifically state that Nicodemus believed in Jesus, we do know that his life indicated that a regeneration had taken place within his heart.  We learn in John 7: 50-53 that much to the frustration of his fellow Pharisees, Nicodemus defended Christ when he was being judged unfairly according to Jewish Law.    After his death, it was Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea who cared for the body of our Saviour, disregarding their own safety and reputation.   The anointing spices for the Lords body were provided mainly by Nicodemus, some 75#’s of myrrh.

In studying the Biblical biography of Nicodemus, one must admit that it is clear that once a person does accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior, old things do pass away; all things do become new.  My friend, as you consider this man’s life, let me encourage you to become a seeker of the truth.  The Holy Spirit of God will open your eyes that the god of this world (Satan) has blinded that you will be able to understand as Nicodemus did; you need but ask.  Let me close with that most precious verse:  John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in His name shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

“UNPOPULAR PREACHERS”


“UNPOPULAR PREACHERS”.     A very good article shared by my friend at this site –

http://jpfinn7.wordpress.com

How Beautiful are Your Feet?


There is a song that carries the message “How beautiful, How beautiful, How beautiful are the feet, that spread the Gospel message, How beautiful are the feet.”………………Much to my delight the composer gleaned the theme of this song from scripture!  How exciting!  Romans 10: 15, ……….”How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel…..and bring glad tidings of good things”  The Lord is so inclusive that He has a purpose for the seemingly most taken for granted appendage of our mortal body.   God  has made it quite clear that we are to use our feet to go into all the world and fulfill the great commission.  Unfortunately there are those who have defective and/or deformed feet that are not being used in obedience to the Lord in witnessing the Good News.

Let’s take into consideration those feet which are encumbered by callouses…………the callouses of indifference toward lost souls.   Oftentimes callouses numb the area of the foot on which they have evolved.  And so it is when it comes to soul-winning, the person is numb, insensitive it you will,  to the need of the lost souls.   These callouses need to be soaked in the living water so that they can be scrubbed away by the pumice stone of conviction.   Keeping our spiritual feet free from hardened callousness will help us to become sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit when He brings someone into our pathway who needs to hear the Gospel.

Some feet have ingrown -toenails……………..painful memories of past experiences in witnessing.  We need to  understand that this hostility is toward God.   There will be times when doors are slammed in your face; curse words are spewed out in rebuff of your witness and of course those who” gave at the office”  if you catch my drift.  The Bible says that we are not to become discouraged if the world hates us. The reason for this is because in John 15:18, Jesus tells us that if the world hated him, it will hate us.

Then there are the toe-nails on our feet that are plagued and disfigured with fungus…………..the fungus of sin.  Sin causes us not to be in fellowship with the Lord.  When this fellowship is broken we become useless vessels and the Lord cannot work through us.   Although fungal infections are difficult to get rid of, God has promised in his Word that if we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   Thus the joy of our salvation is restored and we desire to please God by sharing with others His glorious Gospel.

Hammertoes are a physical deformity………….the spiritual  deformity of  being conformed to this world.  God specifically states that we are to come out from among them and be separate.  We were not created to have fellowship with unbelievers and when this is our bent then we develop spiritual hammertoes, deformed by the pressure of worldly shoes.   Our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  The ‘shoes’ of the world are ill-fitting and thereby cause deformity to our spiritual feet.  making us less effective in our gospel witness.

Bunions  are caused by pressure…………. the peer pressure of what others will think.   What will my unsaved friends or acquaintances think if I knock on their door?  Many Christians have dealt with this issue.  Romans 1:16 reminds us that we are not to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.   We are to love our friends and acquaintances so much that the fact that they are on their way to hell would overshadow our timidity.  One person held onto the thought  that friends would not be able to point their finger from hell and cry in a painful voice “You did not tell me!”

Our feet are to be beautiful, spiritually healthy in spreading the Gospel message.  God did not make then just to wear stylish shoes.  They were designed to go into all the World and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.